I got very upset as I was reading my child magazine named Science and life, when I read a 4 pages article about Minecraft. Even if it was under the label "video games" it still looked a lot like a commercial. Unhappily it was not presented like a commercial :-(
It was a few paragraphs under the subject Minecraft on a science mood. Each paragraph had a specific subject and include link to the game.
For example, the first paragraph which is the easiest to analyse for any one knowing music and playing a musical instrument, even if one is a beginner, so, the first paragraph is about composing music! It tells you how wonderful minecraft is as it allow the player to compose even if he is the dummies ever in music. Using some musical bloc you may compose, for example by clicking 3 times on it you produce a B and if you click 11 times it would be a F!
I guess it is the Morse code for music?
Then it tells you how wonderful it would be to reunite IN minecraft with you fellow "new type of musician" and make a band!
Honestly? anyone who learn a little about music would react to this.
So the naive kid will go for it and believe that he is living a wonderful experience, being at last able to play music?
And the article goes on: another subject is explore geophysics with minecraft, and then it is about quantum physic...
And this is supposed to be an article!!!
So I had to explain to my child that this was not an article! that if it was, the journalist would have done a research and expose more than one point of view. For example, the journalist would have interview a musician or a quantum physician to have is view on the subject: a good way to confront virtuality and reality.
I totally dislike minecraft, and the situation with it remind me about the baby Einstein video issue. At that time, Disney was trying to convince parents that those video were good for their babies, that they will make them more intelligent like Einstein. It was a success for a while, many parents felt for it and believed all of this. Well, I guess it was also convenient to believe as they were feeling comfortable that way putting their baby in front of the screen...
Anyway, after a long battle of parents, doctors and researchers proving that not only it was not making their baby smarter but it was actually bad for them, the whole baby Einstein period went away.
Now it is minecraft with all those preteen getting addicted to it and I guess many parents falling for it as well because... it is also convenient isn't it?
Kids stay for hours busy on their computer and parents can be free to do whatever they want instead of entertaining them, driving around, or sharing some precious time with them.
Well, not all the parents are feeling that way, you may want to read what some parents are saying about the game: http://www.circleofmoms.com/kids-aged-over-10yrs-old./11-year-old-son-addicted-to-minecraft-714073